10 Teaching Days

December 4, 2009 § Leave a comment

At present we have 3 projects launched, but in their infancy, 2 projects were are working on and 2 in the planning stage. Keeping these 7 projects up to date and on schedule or in development is a real challenge.

We have been communicating and directing these projects through traditional meetings and conversation but keeping each project on track and all parties informed soon became overwhelming, so we added Collonas Workplace to our project management. It take a little while to get the settings right and proxy set up, but since then, its been a really useful tool.

Collanos allows unlimited number of members to work, communicate in real time or asynchronously reducing the need for constant email updates and permitting fewer meetings.

Projects and related projects are stored in a single, consolidated workspace. From now on we all access the same project-related activity / task / comments / documents without the need of going back and forth between multiple tools / channels. Meetings, now less frequent, are also more productive due to our shared understanding.

Instant notification is possible, but a little annoying when teaching so I have turned my off, the IT team however find it useful. Collanos Workplace also allows you to send instant messages to team members (all with set permissions) and alerts you when updates have been made. The usual, ‘Im busy’ or ‘Im available’ is useful but its a feature we have come to expect.

Did I mention Collanos Workplace is free! The service is backed by premium services or bespoke solutions, but as yet, its done all I need and more. We have set up a Collonas to help support and encourage communication between the network managers in the county. I am keen to see how it is adopted.

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Practicing What We Teach

April 20, 2008 § Leave a comment

The NEW curriculum states

‘explore the ways that ICT can be used to communicate, collaborate and share ideas on a global scale, allowing people to work together in new ways and changing the way in which knowledge is created.’

I am lucky to be able to work with an experienced ICT colleague and we have started to collaborate on the NEW curriculum. We have decided to try and collaborate as middle managers, as teachers and to encourage our students to collaborate also, using the publishing power of authorSTREAM and in the process taking some calculated risks. 

Gideon Williams (Perins School) and I first discussed and attempted to frame what the NEW curriculum could look like for our students in ICT. Gideon brought with him a wealth of experience and together we applied and emphasised the NEW curriculum ‘Key Concepts and Processes.’ We attempted to revise a range of ‘tried and tested’ lessons using a range teaching approaches, innovative webare tools as well as exploiting cross curriular opportunities. 

For Year 7 students, we highlighted personal ICT organisation, digital citzenship and online saftey, finishing with a ‘Personal Presentation Task’ (ppt) based on the infamous Slideshare Competition entry, ‘Meet Henry.’ We are hoping that webware company authorSTREAM will support our ‘collaborative-competition’ as students from Hamble and Perins go head to head, yet also offering one another online feedback.

The process on mapping out the rest of curriculum is far from finished, we need to bring in a final task that requires students to evaluate and developing models and to fully develop the Year 8 program of study. Gideon and I are using the online mind mapping tool bubbl.us to continue our planning conversations, should you want to throw your ideas onto the map, then let me know.

Finally to note that the choices being made for Year 7 and 8 learners, underpin the skills required for the OCR National Units identified in Years 9, 10 and 11. All of which I hope will marry to the Hambles Specialist Sports College Status.

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